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Why The Uproar About Pop?

You may have heard in the news recently that the State of New York was trying to ban restaurants from serving large containers of pop (greater than 16 oz).  Is this really worthy of headlines on national news stations and newspapers.

In one word, I will say “YES”!

For much of my life I was a popoholic, and proud of it.  Pop went with pizza. Pop went with burgers.  At the theatre popcorn needed a HUGE pop.  Watching football on Sunday needed chips…and of course pop.  If it was hot, I needed pop.  If I was tired I needed pop.  It just tasted so good, it gave me energy, it was a beautiful thing!

Of course it tasted good!  Look how much sugar apparently goes into Coke for example.  (I got this picture from http://www.sugarstacks.com/.   I can’t verify the accuracy of anything they post, but it does seem to match a lot of the research I have done…and pictures are worth a thousand words)

 

         39g                            65g                          108g

Not only is there sugar, but there can be chemicals, preservatives, caffeine, food colouring, and other ingrediants…all sorts of things which are not natural, and that provide very little if any nutritional value.   Pop may help promote tooth decay.  It may be linked to osteoporosis.  It may promote heartburn. It may be linked to an increase in diabetes.  It may contribute to high blood pressure.  It may impair digestion.  Listen, I am not a doctor, but I do know that my body feels better when I am not drinking pop…and I think my body will not only thank me now, but also in the future.  That’s just me, you need to do your own experimentation with your own body and see how you feel.

Statistics show that obesity is growing in our society in leaps and bounds.   Kids are getting more unhealthy by the moment.  Computers keep them in doors and sedentary.  A lot of the foods they eat are highly processed, with little nutritional content…so they have to keep eating more and more because the body is not getting what it is looking for.  And if you top it off with highly sugary beverages…it is a recipe that will ultimately spell dis-ease in the future. 

But the great thing is that we can change that.  It is in our control.  As parents, as guardians, as role models.  I believe if we educate ourselves, then pass along that knowledge, we can make a difference.  I know that when I stopped drinking  pop last time, I seemed to shed almost 4 pounds almost instantaneously (and I drank a lot of diet pop in fact) Coincidence?

Please click on this link to see a video I made one week ago, where I pledge to give up pop!    Witness it…hold me accountable…slap me in the head if you ever see me with a pop in my hand again!

My Last Pop Ever – Tony’s Vow!

The fact is that pop appears to put stress on our body in a number of different ways.  Physically it stresses our body, weakening it.  Mentally, if there are sugar rushes and caffeine rushes, this can cause your mood to go up and down and up and down… then that is ultimately exhausting as well.  This blog is about de-stressing yourself.   Why not try eliminating this stressor from your life…your body will thank you.

This blog only talked about regular pops.  In the future I will address diet pops, because from the research I am doing these may be just as bad if not worse in some ways!

Any thoughts you would care to share about your experience with pop?   Care to make the DWP (Days without Pop) pledge?   Let us know what is on your mind!

Powerful Energizing Breathing Exercise

Here is a breathing exercise you are going to love!  I learned this a few years back from one of my earlier mentors Tony Robbins. It will immediately get your energy flowing, so that you will feel more energized, more focused…ready to take on anything!

To start, I want you to look at your hand (either hand will do).  Start at your thumb, then next is your index finger, your middle finger, your ring finger, and ending at your pinky finger.

1) I want you to touch the tip of  your thumb and the tip of your index finger together.

2) Next touch the tip of your thumb and the tip of your middle finger together.

3) Next touch the tip of your thumb and the tip of your ring finger together.

4) Finally touch the tip of your thumb and your pinky finger together.

Repeat that sequence with both hands at the same time.

Now here come the fun part…

Do the sequence once through, and each time you touch your thumb to a finger, breathe in through your nose…so it will be four quick breaths in.

Do the sequence a second time, and each time you touch your thumb to a finger, breathe out through your mouth. …so it will be four quick breaths out.

You will continue doing the sequence, alternating between breathing in and breathing out.

You can practice doing it slower or faster.    If you begin to feel out of breath, or feel light-headed then stop immediately.  Before you begin again, ensure your breathing is back to normal and you feel good and grounded…that there is no sense of being light-headed.

Now here come the super energizing part!

I use this as I begin to exercise…in my case it is usually my walking!   It could just be around your house. Or on a treadmill.  Down by the lake. In the conservation area.  I start walking slowly, doing my breathing exercise, and then once my energy is flowing, I stop the breathing exercise and speed up my walking.   I find it extremely powerful!

Have fun!   And if you do try it…please let us know did it help get your energy moving?!

Walk Away Weight and Worries

Walking has become one of my best friends. 

When I was recovering from my heart ailments, I had to give up all the things I used to do. I gave up Karate, because physically I couldn’t do it, and I was warned I could not afford to get hit because of the blood thinners.  I couldn’t run, nor ride my bike, or do anything strenuous.  It left one option…walking.  At first I was depressed because I thought of it as so boring, compared to biking through the trails for example.  But it was the thing that gradually allowed to regain my strength.  And then a funny thing happened…it grew on me…and now walking is one of my favorite things to do!

I have a favorite route that has some nice hills, some beautiful scenery, some big fields where I can let me dog run free, and also some roads where I often say hi to people I know.  I really just started walking with fervour last summer.  I went out on my 90 minute power walk with my dog as often as I could.  Not too long ago I weighed just under 250 pounds, and I am now down to 220.  I still have a lot more I want to cut, but I am happy with the progress.  I have continued again this summer, and having a blast!  Walking is an underdog.  It is underutilized.  It is a great form of exercise.  It gets you outside in the sun and the fresh air.  You can walk slow or go faster if you are feeling it that day.  You can talk with people, you can enjoy the scenery. If I am stressed out or worrying about something, I can usually release it all during my walk and return home feeling a new man. Our civilization does not move enough.  Many of us are too stagnant.  This means our bodies are stagnant, and I find if my body is stagnant then my mind becomes stagnant.  On sunday my daughter and I went to Confederation park and walked by the Lake.  We had great family time together, we had a good talk, we got a couple hours of exercise, and it just made us feel good.  And it was so peaceful.   Here is a quick 30 second video we shot, just so you can hear the beauty of the wind blowing through the trees and the gentle roar of the waves.   How can anything beat that?

walking near lake with sab 

My question for you is: Are you moving enough?  Are you getting stagnant?

Love to hear about some of the best walks or places to walk you have done!

Being Thankful Calms the Soul

Sometimes I find myself whining to myself or anyone who will listen.  I may feel sorry for myself for something I don’t have, or because something didn’t work out the way I thought I wanted it to.  Maybe I didn’t get that client I wanted.  Maybe the soccer uniforms aren’t ready yet and we have to trade shirts amongst the girls.  Maybe we don’t have a huge flat screen TV in our house (we still use the one my wife got for a work present 10+ years ago…and it still works).  Maybe they are doing construction on the road on the way to work and I have to use a detour which adds a full 4 – 5 minutes to my drive.

The fact is that though, that although my life is by no means perfect, it is pretty damn good.   Honestly, I could not ask for anything more than where I am, who I am, and to have the people to love and who love me.  I am the luckiest man alive.   I really am.

I was driving with a friend the other day, he seemed to be feeling down, and he was lamenting that his car was not the newest model, he seemed in fact to be apologizing to me.  I thought his car was pretty nice…but I guess it wasn’t the top of the line in his mind.    I allowed myself to get caught up in his sorrow for a second, and the mood in the car became somewhat somber.   I noticed my breathing had shallowed, my face was grimacing a bit, and I immediately began to think of the things I didn’t have. But then a thought struck me and I looked at him and told him that probably  some people would die to be able to have the car he had.  That it was beyond anything they could ever imagine they could have.

We sat in  silence for a few minutes, both deep in thought.  And then he suddenly had a huge grin on his face, and he said that I was right.   That the fact that he even had a car, and had the money to put gas in it, was amazing.  The mood in the car brightened! 

One of the things I have learned from my wife over the years is to be thankful.  It is also a Reiki tenet…to show appreciation.    When I am feeling jealous or angry…my body tenses up, my mood is dour.  It is an actual stress on my system.    It leads nowhere except to bitterness and wasted thoughts.  Life can be so short, why bother wasting it with negative thoughts and emotions filling your mind.

I have found that when I practice being thankful, I immediately relax.  My mind clears and my mood brightens!

Before I go to bed each night, I run through everything in the world I am thankful for.   If I am having a stressful day at work, or just feeling unloved, I do the same exercise, right while sitting at my desk (I of course seem like I am staring at my stock screen intensely ready to make some brilliant trade, but I am really mentally going through a list of things I am thankful for).  Without fail it works, every single time. Always.

I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful for my family.  I am thankful for my career.  I am thankful that I get to coach my teams in sports.  I am thankful I have a roof over my head, that there is always food on the table.  I am thankful for air conditioning on a record-setting hot day like today.  I am thankful I can go for long walks with my dog.  I am thankful for my car, it has a sunroof (which I love), and it is the first time I have had one.  I am thankful for my friends.  I am thankful for the mentors in life I have had.    I am thankful I got to see Men Without Hats at Ontario Place with Duane years ago.   I am thankful for the challenging times I have had and the challenging people I have met…because it makes the good times that much better.  I am thankful for my wife’s stir fry.  I am thankful to have been exposed to Reiki.  I am thankful I got so sick years ago, because it forced me to learn about health and how to actually live.  I am thankful for the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way.  I am thankful for the technical support at HostGator.com because it was the best on-line support I have ever had.  I am thankful for the wonderful parents and friends from my sports teams.   I am thankful to be alive. 

I am thankful for so many things. 

Question for you:  What are you thankful for?     Care to share with us?  I bet you will inspire someone with your answer.